Fundraising champion completes 15-hour swim to raise thousands of pounds for Havant children’s charity Over The Wall
A CHARITY swimmer has raised more than £10,000 for a Havant charity with a marathon 15 hour, 21 mile pool challenge.
Maddy Ellis, a 27-year-old mathematician, is a volunteer and fundraiser for children’s charity Over The Wall.
Although her original plans to swim the English Channel were scuppered by dangerous conditions, Maddy was determined to complete her fundraising challenge.
She instead swam the same 21-mile distance in Mountbatten Pool in Portsmouth, swimming constantly for 15 hours and only stopping to use the toilet.
Maddy swam the total of around 1,200 lengths of the pool on Sunday.
The charity champion raised £10,300 for Over The Wall, which hosts camps that are designed to help children with serious illness to reach beyond the boundaries of their health challenge.
Maddy said: ‘I really wanted to continue to raise money for Over The Wall, and to honour everyone who had already donated to my JustGiving page.
‘People had been so kind and so generous, so I wanted to do something as similar to the channel crossing as possible.”
Other volunteers and staff members from Over The Wall were present for the whole 15 hours as were Maddy’s family members, many of which occasionally swam beside her in support.
Maddy had endured a difficult two-year training schedule of regular, long open water swims and daily ice baths as she got ready to swim the channel.
She said: ‘Getting used to the heat and chlorine was most difficult.
‘The pool was 29 degrees and I had been taking ice baths and swimming in cold open waters in preparation, so that was something I wasn’t ready for, and had to adjust to.
‘It felt great to complete it and to have raised well over my target £10k for the charity.’
She was able to cool down with the occasional handful of frozen peas provided by her fellow volunteers who were cheering her on from the poolside.
Kevin Mathieson, CEO of the charity, said: ‘We feel very lucky and proud to have Maddy on board as a volunteer and fundraiser for our charity.
‘These funds raised through her strength, determination and dedication, will certainly help our charity to provide more opportunities for children with serious illness -and for that we are very grateful.’